Big wastewater spill in Sonoma County
Roughly 2 million gallons of wastewater spilled into a slough in southern Sonoma County this weekend because of a leaking pipe valve — but any ecological impact appears minimal, officials said.
The spill began Friday morning from a manually operated valve south of Schellville and the Carneros wine region along Highway 12. It ended Saturday at 10:45 a.m.
“By all appearances the valve was closed, but apparently it didn’t fully seal,” said Ann DuBay, a spokeswoman for the Sonoma County Water Agency. The problem was spotted when an operator at the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District offices “noticed that numbers looked strange” on the monitors tracking the fluids in the pipes.
Workers were able to temporarily seal the valve, which will remain out of service until it is fixed or replaced, DuBay said.
Because of the nature
of the spill, the water agency notified the State Office of Emergency Services, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Environmental specialists inspected the scene.
“Fortunately, there is no sign of ecological damage,” DuBay said. “A lot of water is in the system right now because of the recent rain, so whatever spilled out probably was pretty diluted.”